Trusts in the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service returned a median 2.13% in the first quarter of 2015, up from 1.7% the previous quarter.
U.S. corporate defined benefit plans were the best performers, returning a median 2.29% for the three months ended March 31, followed by public DB plans at 2.19%; Taft-Hartley DB plans, 2.16%; foundations and endowments, 2.12%; and Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, 1.64%.
Noteworthy this quarter was that all plan types outperformed the classic 60/40 portfolio of stocks and bonds, which returned 1.61%, said Robert J. Waid, managing director at Wilshire Associates, in a telephone interview.
Large plans also outperformed smaller plans in the quarter, boosted by their higher allocations to international equities and public and private real estate.
For the three months ended March 31, the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. returned 3.49% and the Wilshire U.S. REIT index, 4.47%.
That compares with the Wilshire 5000 Total Market index and the Barclays U.S. Aggregate index, which each gained 1.61% in the quarter.
For the one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods ended March 31, the universe posted median returns of 6.49%, 9.44%, 9.16% and 6.82%, respectively.
U.S corporate DB plans were also the best performers over the one-year period, returning a median 7.29%, followed by public DB plans at 7.15%: Taft-Hartley DB plans, 6.74%; foundations and endowments, 6.06%; and Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, 1.64%.
As of Sept. 30, Wilshire TUCS included more than 1,500 plans with more than $3.7 trillion in assets.